Last weekend I discovered I’d not been invited to a celebration that under normal circumstances I should have been. There’s a chance it wasn’t intentional, but only a slim one. I won’t lie and say it didn’t sting. It did. Rather than let it get me down, instead it got me thinking about how grateful I am for the many people who’ve hurt me, intentionally or otherwise, over the years. Without them, I would be far from the woman I am today.

I choose to say thank you. To all of you. From the bottom of my heart and with love, I dedicate this post to you.

Thank you for your rejection – knowing you dislike me helps me appreciate the true value of love and friendship.

For your doubt in me – your questions have only strengthened my belief in myself.

For making me cry – only through wiping away my tears did I learn that I’m the one who gets to choose whether I’m a victim or a survivor.

For judging me on face value – you didn’t know it, but you were helping me learn how to love myself. I’m so much more than my physical appearance.

For letting me down – only through experiencing disappointment did I begin to understand that if no one else, I can always rely on myself.

For trying to break my spirit – you made it impossible for me to do anything but fight harder. By picking myself up each time, I was able to rise stronger.

For making me feel inadequate – you opened my eyes to the fact that quite simply, I am enough.

For telling me I wasn’t smart enough – you pushed me to work that bit harder. I’m smart in ways you’ll never understand.

For saying I should try and be like everyone else – you helped me appreciate that my uniqueness is mine to own and mine alone.

For refusing to listen to my words – you helped me discover the strength of my voice when I choose to use it and the power of my silence when I don’t.

For calling me useless (yes, I heard) – you’re helping me on my way to becoming anything but.

For discarding my emotions – you gave me the ability to face feeling them on my own.

For insisting “you’ve changed” – it’s taken a long time and an awful lot of effort to get here, so I thank you for noticing.

And finally, thank you for saying I couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t do it – now, you can sit back and watch me while I do.

To all those I’ve hurt along the way, I apologise. My hope is that if you’ve not been able to do so already, you take the pain I gave you and use it to grow in a positive way x

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